The Ultimate Fansipan Cable Car and Funicular Guide

Fansipan is home to the highest peak in Vietnam and Indochina and has become one of the main attractions in Sapa. There are 2 ways to ascend Fansipan — a 2D1N trek or by taking the Fansipan Cable Car. Being tight on time and low on fitness, we of course, chose the cable car option.

The route up does not only consist of taking the cable car, but is actually a combination of funicular(s), cable car and some walking.

Getting To Sapa

Train From Hanoi station to Lào Cai station

Fansipan is located in Sapa, a northwestern town in Vietnam. The easiest way to get to Sapa is via a 8-hour train ride to Lào Cai station, followed by a 1-hour taxi ride or a 7-hour bus ride from Hanoi.

Read: Getting from Hanoi to Sapa via train or bus

Getting Tickets For Fansipan Cable Car And Funicular

The most straightforward way to get tickets is via the Sun World counter in Sun Plaza. You’ll be shown a map to explain the various tickets available. If you choose to purchase the tickets from Sun Plaza, you can only buy them on the day you want to use them, as the tickets are only valid for 1 day. You cannot buy them in advance.

Sun Plaza Sapa

Alternatively, you can also purchase tickets via Klook and use the QR codes to enter the funicular and cable car.

The route to ascend Fansipan via cable car and funicular is split into 3 sections, and goes in this order:

  1. Funicular from Sapa Funicular Station to Muong Hoa Funicular Station (5 minutes)
    • VND 150,000 round trip
  2. Walk from Muong Hoa Funicular Station to Hoang Lien Cable Car Station
  3. Cable car from Hoang Lien Cable Car Station to Fansipan Cable Car Station (15 minutes)
    • VND 800,000 adult WEEKDAYS & SUNDAYS round trip
    • VND 850,000 adult SATURDAY & HOLIDAYS round trip
    • VND 550,000 child round trip
  4. Walk from Fansipan Cable Car Station to Do Quyen Funicular Station
  5. Funicular from Do Quyen Funicular Station to Truc May Funicular Station (2 minutes)
    • VND 150,000 way up
    • VND 120,000 way down
    • VND 270,000 round trip
Fansipan Cable Car and Funicular map
Map of the cable car and funicular stations

Note: many locals and Sun World staff use the words funicular and tram interchangeably, they both refer to the same thing.

Operating hours for ticketing counter:
Weekdays 7.30am – 4pm
Weekends & Holidays 6am – 4.30pm

[Funicular] Sapa Funicular Station To Muong Hoa Station

Sapa station - Fansipan funicular

Sapa Funicular Station is accessible via Sun Plaza, just 100m away from the ticketing counter. From observation, there seems to be no set intervals for the funicular to move off. They would try to fit as many people as possible before moving off. We waited about 15 minutes before the funicular moved off.

Interior of Fansipan funicular

Operating hours for trip towards Fansipan peak:
Weekdays 7.45am – 4pm, Weekends & Holidays 6.30am – 4.30pm
Last trip towards Sapa: Weekdays 6.30pm, Weekends & Holidays 7.30pm

[Walk] Muong Hoa Station to Hoang Lien Cable Car Station

View upon exiting Muong Hoa Station
View during the walk from Muong Hoa Station to Hoang Lien Cable Car Station

Upon exiting the funicular at Muong Hoa Station, you’ll have to take a short walk to the Fansipan Cable Car station. The walk is outdoors and on an incline. Occasionally, there are also events in the outdoor space. When we visited, there were special flowers on display so we were able enjoy the flowers during the walk to the cable car station.

[Cable Car] Hoang Lien Cable Car Station To Fansipan Cable Car Station

View from Fansipan Cable car
View from Fansipan Cable Car

The Fansipan Cable Car covers a distance of 6,292.5 m and offers breathtaking views of sprawling rice terraces and towering mountains. However, there is no air conditioner or fan in the cable car, so it can get quite stuffy, especially in the summer, but does get slightly more cooling the higher the cable car ascends. The entire journey takes around 15 minutes.

Operating hours for trip towards Fansipan peak:
Weekdays 8am – 4.30pm, Weekends & Holidays 7am – 5pm
Last trip towards Sapa: Weekdays 6pm, Weekends & Holidays 7pm

[Walk] Fansipan Cable Car Station To Do Quyen Funicular Station

On the way to Do Quyen Funicular Station
Open space leading to Do Quyen Funicular Station

Once you exit the cable car, you will find yourself walking through a mini exhibition about the Fansipan cable car, into a restaurant-like setting, coupled with a souvenir shop. Following the signs, you should make it to a small flight of stairs that leads to an open space which gives you a sneak peak of the view you’ll be getting at the peak. The path to Do Quyen Funicular Station is straightforward and you should be able to find it easily. The funicular ride from Do Quyen Funicular Station to Truc May Funicular Station is a short one, just a 2 minute ride.

[Funicular] Do Quyen Funicular Station To Truc May Funicular Station

Do Quyen Funicular Station - Fansipan Cable Car

If you choose not to take the funicular, it’ll be a 1km upward climb, consisting of over 600 steps. We chose to climb up but made a couple of stops along the way to catch our breath and enjoy the view.

Truc May Funicular Station - Fansipan cable car

As the climb was tiring, we decided to take the funicular down. There is a counter at the Truc May Funicular Station at the peak where you can purchase your funicular tickets, so don’t worry about changing your mind about the funicular after climbing up.

Operating hours for trip towards Fansipan peak:
Weekdays 8.30am – 5pm, Weekends & Holidays 7.30am – 5.30pm
Last trip towards Sapa: Weekdays 5.30pm, Weekends & Holidays 6.30pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I take the Fansipan cable car or trek up?

One of the factors to consider is how much time you have in Sapa. The trek takes 2 days while taking the cable car and funicular will only take about 30 minutes one way.

You’ll also have to take into account your fitness as the trek is at moderate difficulty.

How’s the weather up on Fansipan?

It depends very much on the season you’re visiting. It is mostly very windy, but can be rainy and foggy during the winter months as well.

When’s the best time to visit Fansipan?

The conditions up there are very unpredictable, but if you want a clear view, your best bet is during the warmer periods — April – July. It’ll still be windy up there, but chances are, it’ll be sunny and clear. However, I think it is best to purchase tickets at the Sun Plaza counter on a clear day, rather than booking online in advance as it may still rain during the warmer periods.

What clothes to wear on Fansipan?

Regardless of the month you’re visiting, bring minimally a wind breaker and something to cover your ears. The wind is strong and can hurt your ears if they are sensitive.

If you’re visiting during the colder months (Oct – Feb), definitely bring a thicker jacket, as the temperature can go below 10 degrees.

Funicular at Truc May Funicular Station

Disclaimer: Some links on this post are affiliate links, purchasing through these links mean that I make a small amount of commission. All reviews and opinions still remain fully my own.

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